The Best Times to Post on Facebook for Businesses

When is the best time to post on Facebook for businesses?

This is a question that we get asked all the time. While we’ve touched on it in past articles, with organic reach declining it’s more important than ever to know when your posts will best be seen, and even when users are most likely to engage with them.

So how can you find the best times to post on Facebook? When are those best times?

If you want a lot of eyes on your posts and content, you have to know what times work best for you, and see which of them works best your particular audience.

In this post, we’ll show you our personal data on what we’ve found to be the best times for businesses to post on Facebook, as well as showing you how to your specific best times and how to schedule posts to take advantage of them.

Best Times to Post on Weekdays

Weekdays tend to be among the most popular times to post, and that’s not only because business hours are continuous (so if you’ve got a 9-5 employee working on your social media, they may only post here), but also because social media has become part of our routine.

During the week, there are few times when there won’t be at least some of your users are online if you have a lot of them. The hard part is finding the most concentrated times.

As a general rule, we’ve found that for our audience, posts uploaded at 10am or later tend to perform well. Posting early gives you the edge to still have your post in the Newsfeed later. Activity and our audience’s usage stayed consistent from 10am to about 7 or 8pm on weekday evenings, with peak times occurring often between 3 and 4pm, sometimes with peaks happening in the afternoon. You can see this information in our chart below:

best times to post on Facebook for businesses

Out of all the weekdays, Fridays tended to have the least activity, but they still did ok for traffic, still beating out weekends. That being said, weekends shouldn’t be dismissed, and they have their own best times to post, and their own value. 

Best Times to Post on Weekends

It’s important to keep that in mind when you’re posting on the weekends, your audience’s best times may be drastically different than another Page’s. A college student’s weekend—and the times they’re even awake—are very different than a thirty-five year with a 9-5 job during the week. While our data can help you, you’ll want to check your Insights for your own current best times, which we’ll talk about later on in the blog post.

Come Saturdays, don’t even think about posting early. While our Page Views started getting some views around 8am, engagement didn’t increase until a little later on in the day. After about 9pm on a Saturday though, just about all activity dropped off entirely, so you’ll want to post a few hours before that to still get some hits on your post.

On Sundays activity on our Page didn’t start until 9am. We had slightly more concentrated blocks of activity around 10 am and 4pm. Posting just before these times on a Sunday will be your best bet.

It is important to note that for our data, the most concentrated times with highest levels of activity did not happen at all on either Saturday or Sunday—they happened all on weekdays. That doesn’t mean weekends should be ignored entirely, but it’s good to take note that a lot of your focus and your most important posts should go to busy times during the week.

Best Overall Times for Businesses to Post on Facebook

So, what have we found to be the absolute best times—on the absolute best days—for businesses to post on Facebook?

These times aren’t just good times—these are what we found to be the absolute best times to post on Facebook for businesses.

  • Mondays at 2pm and 4pm
  • Tuesdays at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm
  • Wednesdays at 3pm and 4pm
  • Thursdays at 3pm, 6pm, and 7pm

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays all got activity—but not necessarily a lot of it. Friday got the most (with engagement factored in, which our chart doesn’t show), then Sunday, and then Saturday had the least.

If you want to post on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the best times are:

  • Friday 10am-6pm
  • Saturday 9am-6pm
  • Sunday 10am and 4pm

Again, for reference, here’s what our data provided us with:

best times to post on Facebook for businesses

As mentioned though, these best times work as a great guide line and are fantastic for split testing, but it’s important to be able to tune into your audience and really see what times work best for you, and for them.

Here’s how to do that….

Finding Your Best Time

With the differences in how different users utilize Facebook, it’s up to you to figure out when your best time is to post. These are the times that work best for us, and they’re a great starting period.

Again, to find the best time for your exact page and your exact audience, the best thing you can do is to test out a few posts on each of the suggested times listed above (and a few others, if those don’t work for you).

Your Page’s Insights is the best way to see what’s working for you so far, and to help you find the best times your audience is already active. When you go to your Insights, go to the Posts tab and it will automatically show you when your fans are online.

best times to post on Facebook for businesses

Test a few similar posts at set times over the course of a few weeks and monitor their progress on your Insights post tabs. From here, you can—and should—evaluate for reach (how many people are seeing your post) and number of clicks, likes, shares, and comments on each post individually.

Scheduling Posts Ahead of Time

It’s not enough just to know the best times to post; you actually have to have great content to post in them, and you have to make sure you’re hitting those time slots. One of the easiest ways to do this—to post the right content at the right time—is to create great content ahead of time and schedule it to post later, especially if you’ve got that 9-5 social media marketing employee who doesn’t feel like working unnecessary overtime.

Facebook now allows you to schedule posts and run them at a later time.

To schedule a post on Facebook, you’ll start from your Page’s Timeline. Click on the box where you can upload a new status, and type in your post.
In the bottom corner, next to the Publish button, you’ll see a drop down arrow. When you click it, you’ll have the option to schedule a post.

how to schedule a post on Facebook

It brings you to a screen where you can choose the exact time and date you want your post to go live. After you schedule your post, hit schedule, and you’re all set.

best times to post on Facebook for businesses

I also highly recommend Rignite for scheduling posts and campaigns, especially if you want to repeat the post at a later time or want your posts to extend cross-platform. We use Rignite, and it’s been one of the best resources I’ve got in my toolbox. You can see our Rignite review here to see if it will work for you, too.

 

To see more about being successful with Facebook marketing and Facebook Ads, you can read more about our FB Ads Formula here. You can also see more about how to promote your Facebook Page (without paying to) in this post.

Have you found the best times to post on Facebook for your Page? What time works best for your audience? Leave us a comment and let us know!

 

Make Purchases Directly on Pinterest with New Buyable Pins

Some exciting news has recently been announced for online businesses, or businesses who do any amount of ecommerce work. Pinners will soon be able to purchase directly from Pinterest, not even needing to go off-site.

buyable pins; make purchases directly on Pinterest
Image courtesy of Pinterest.com

Pinterest—a popular social media platform resembling an online scrapbook for wishlists, recipes, and a variety of other assorted interests— is a relatively new platform, but a frequently used one. Its ad platform is also climbing the ranks, first with their Promoted Pins, and now with buyable pins.

So far, it looks like buyable pins are going to break into the platform only on iPhone and iPad users at first. There’s no word if or when buyable pins will be available for Android and desktop users, but my guess is that once they hammer out any issues and are ready to expand, it will eventually become available to all platforms.

How Buyable Pins Work

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 6.29.57 PMBuyable pins is a massive breakthrough for Pinterest, and will likely have a huge affect on marketers and pinners. Some exciting news: there is no added fee for either merchants or users to purchase directly from Pinterest. My guess is that this may change once the feature has really taken off, with Pinterest potentially charging merchants an extra fee once it’s been proven how valuable and profitable buyable pins can be—which I really believe they will be.

When the feature launches, Pinterest plans to have around 2 million items ready for users to purchase.

Starting at the end of this month, pinners with mobile apple devices will be able to purchase items directly off the pins themselves, without ever leaving Pinterest. Pinterest’s servers will never actually touch or be able to access customers’ card or payment information (options for which currently include Apple Pay or credit cards), keeping their information secure, but they still only need to enter their card information into the app once.

Pinners will be able to identify “buyable pins” by a blue tag on the pins themselves. Buyable pins will appear in every part of Pinterest, including search results, recommendations, and in the feeds. If using the search options, users will be able to place a price limit and prevent higher priced items from showing up in their feeds.

buyable pins on Pinterest
Image courtesy of Pinterest.com

The pins will still appear alongside regular pins, including those pinned by users and not marketers. This will give them a seamless integration that has worked particularly well for platforms like Twitter, and has so far kept Pinterest a favorite marketing tool.

What This Means

As an avid pinner myself (I use Pinterest as a marketing tool professionally, and a virtual cookbook with thousands of recipes saved on my personal account), I can only imagine how profitable the new buyable pins will be, both for Pinterest (once they inevitably start charging) and businesses alike.

Pinterest will now not only expose potential customers to new products and companies, it can lead to major increases in impulse purchases.

Before, if customers fell in love with something, they had to leave the site to purchase, potentially going through several more screens and/or transactions to do so. Now, it will be simple, and with purchases made easy, I’d be shocked if they didn’t increase.

Pinterest has been doing a lot of work to improve their value to marketers and businesses, recently refining targeting features for their already-launched Promoted Pins platform.

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann stated that 80% of people purchasing from Pinterest were doing this from their mobile devices, hence their choice to start releasing the feature to mobile devices first.

Final Thoughts

While Pinterest’s Promoted Pins already seems to be fairing well for them, buyable pins could propel Pinterest into a top spot in the social media advertising ranks. Businesses could see big jumps in revenue, which I’m guessing will happen, leading to more and more businesses will using buyable pins.

 

What do you think about buyable pins? Would you create buyable pins for your business to sell products once it’s available?

 

7 Common Mistakes Bloggers Make That Kill Their Blog

Setting up, maintaining, and running a popular blog isn’t as easy as it sounds. In addition to doing everything right, you have to make sure you don’t do anything wrong.

There are 7 common mistakes bloggers make, most of which end up killing their blog—sometimes before it ever even really gets started.

1. You Don’t Post Consistently and Frequently

Frequency is one of the most important aspects you should consider when planning out your blog posts. Your posts need to be consistent in their frequency, and that needs to be fairly often. We post two to three times a week, but even one post a week is fine so long as you do, indeed, post every week.

blogging mistakes bloggers make
I make sure to post a minimum of two posts a week on this blog, in addition to guest posts on other sites.

Having four posts one week and no more for another month and a half doesn’t do much good, even if it’s the same amount of content. Without frequency, people stop coming back to your blog to see what’s new.

In addition to frequency, your posts should stay consistent in common theme, voice, and quality. If you’re able to keep your post consistent with all of these qualities, you’ll be a lot more likely to build an audience and keep it intact.

2. Your Posts Aren’t Long Enough

Posts that are only 200-300 words aren’t long enough to be informative, helpful, or even really entertaining.

common blogging mistakes bloggers make
You will automatically rank higher in search engines if your blog post contains more than 300 words.

Every now and then a quick post alerting followers to a special event is one thing, but overall, your posts need to be significantly longer, aiming for at least 1,000 words. If they’re much less, there isn’t enough content to be worth reading in most cases.

Keep your posts long enough to have substantial information and you’ll be good to go.

3. Not Doing Your Research

Just as with everything else in business, being successful with blogging has a little to do with luck and networking, and a whole lot to do with hard work in the form of research and preparedness.

There are a lot of things you need to know before you ever get started on each blog post. You need to research:

  • Your Audience: If you haven’t figured out who your audience is or what they’d like to read, you don’t have much to go on. While you do get to choose what you want to write about, you also have to keep your audience in mind—after all, if no one wants to read it, it won’t make a difference at all.
  • Keywords: Keyword research is so important, especially if you’re ever going to want SEO to help your site (which, at least eventually, you will). In order to make sure your blog post is seen, you need to understand what keywords tie in well with each post, and optimize the post for these keywords. Fortunately there are some really great tools that help bloggers and site owners research keywords. I recommend WordTracker and WordStream.
  • Your Competition: Not researching your competition is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. When you take a look at the sites and blogs that will be youre direct competition, you can learn a few things, like what content they have performs best, what your target audience is responding to, what keywords they are using, and—most importantly—what you can do to make your site different and offer something unique.

In addition to researching each blog post and making sure the facts you’re providing are correct (there is no faster way to lose credibility than to post wrong information), you need to do research than what you’re posting in each article, too.

Research and preparedness will pay off, even if it takes a while and doesn’t seem worth it. Trust me, it is, and neglecting this research is one of the biggest and most common mistakes bloggers make.

4. Using Weak Titles and Headlines

People won’t read your post if your headline can’t even catch their attention.

For the record, this is something I personally struggled with, despite having had a penchant in college for titling creative works. I originally made the mistake of thinking “7 Mistakes Made on Blogs” would be better than “7 Common Mistakes Bloggers Make that Kill Their Blog” because it was simple—that, however, isn’t enough.

When creating a title for each blog post, there is a lot to consider—certainly a lot more than I’d realized when I first got started. You need to keep several factors in mind to create a strong headline. Your title needs to be:

  • Keyword Oriented: Whenever possible, you need to feature the keyword you’re targeting in the title of your blog post. Even if SEO isn’t your endgame, it still shouldn’t be ignored. If you’ve got your keyword(s) in your title, you’re already on the right step. There’s a great plugin you can use to help you optimize for keywords, which you can read about here.
mistakes bloggers make
Google checks if your focus keywords is in your title, among other locations.
  • Descriptive: Your title and headlines need to be just descriptive enough that it tells visitors what they will be reading about. When users see your title, it needs to give them a basic idea of what they’re reading. People won’t click if they have no idea what page they’re going to next.
  • Brief: For all of my fellow Parks & Rec fans out there, you know how Leslie is always coming up with titles for news articles, and the titles always seem to take a solid two minutes to say? That’s the opposite of what you want. While you want your title to be descriptive, telling readers what’ll read, you also need it to be brief. An eight word maximum is a good place to stay around—descriptive, but not as long as the post itself.
  • Interesting: In addition to being both descriptive and brief, it is crucial that your title is interesting and eye-catching. Your title needs to make users want to click and want to read that post. It should offer value, often either in the forms of entertainment or informative value.

5. Not Being Audience-Focused

Some bloggers think more about what they want to write about, instead of what readers want to read. While you do get to write about what you want to write about, you also need to really consider your audience and your readers. After all, if no one wants to read it, what’s the point?

This goes back to researching your audience and knowing your niche. Sites like Quora, Yahoo answers, or industry forums (for us it’s Warrior Forum) are really useful tools when you want to see what your audience is talking about and what questions they’re asking.

The goal is to provide value in your posts, whether through entertainment or information. Answer questions or offer entertainment that your audience will want to read, and your posts will be shared and read much more frequently.

6. Not Having an Email Sign-up

In the cases of most “serious bloggers” who are using blogging to expand or boost their business, the ultimate goal isn’t to necessarily to get people to their blog—it’s to get leads from the people who come to the blog.

blogging post all bloggers make
You can also offer incentive to sign up, as we did in the form of a Mindmap.

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Without a pop-up or easy-to-spot sign-up form that prompts visitors to subscribe to your e-mail list, you won’t get those leads, and more often than not, they’ll forget to come back to your site to visit if you aren’t reminding them to.

7. Working on Auto-Pilot

If you’re blogging casually, approaching it as a casual past time is perfectly fine. If, however, you’re using it to expand or grow your business and/or client list, you can’t function on auto-pilot. Working on auto-pilot without plans for expansion, or adjusting strategies when needed, can be one of the fastest ways to kill your blog—even if it’s going strong at first.

You have to track the stats on your blog; we recommend using Google Analytics. It’s also important to come up with new ways to bring traffic to your blog, and to make sure your posts are getting the same (or better) traffic and responses as the last one.

Just because you did research once doesn’t mean that’s it—it’s important to continue to research, to come up with new ideas, and to continue to grow. You wouldn’t put your business on auto-pilot, but so many people do it with their blogs.

Final Thoughts

Blogging for business and careers is no easy task, especially when your business is relying on content marketing and blogging for its expansion. There’s a lot of thought and work that needs to go into each post, but if you can avoid these 7 common mistakes bloggers make, you’re on your way to growing your blog—and your business.

For more tools for bloggers, you can read about how to form a content marketing strategy, tools all bloggers need, and an inside look to our content marketing strategy.

6 Blogging Tools All Bloggers Need to Use

In theory, blogging doesn’t sound that hard. You start up a site, pick a layout, write some content, and hit the post button. For casual bloggers, that’s all it takes—you’ve got a site up and running in no time at all.

Actually getting and maintaining traffic is another matter entirely. You have to understand how to bring in traffic, where it’s coming from, how to appear in the search engines, and how to make sure your site’s appearance, functionality, and content is the very best it can be. That’s where it starts getting complicated.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great tools out there available to bloggers. Some are free, and some are not. Either way, if they’re on our list of the 6 blogging tools all bloggers need to use, they’re worth the investment.

If you’re serious about blogging—especially if you want your blog to gain a lot of traffic, help your business, or make you money—these are all tools you need to have and know how to use.

1. Google Analytics

I know, I know. How many times now, in how many posts, have I talked about Google Analytics? A lot. But it’s for good reason.

No matter what platform you’re on, Google Analytics is one of the—if not the very most—important tool that you could be using.

Google Analytics tells you exactly how your site is performing. It tells you how much traffic you’re getting, where it’s coming from, how long users are staying, and what pages they visit.

blogging tools

You can use this information to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t, and then to come up with a plan to increase traffic, pages visited, and the amount of time spent on your site.

tools for bloggers

Best news! It’s free and easy to set up on your site. And so, so valuable.

2. WordPress

There’s a lot of great blogging sites out there, but WordPress takes the cake. Like Google Analytics, it makes your job easier, more effective, and it’s free to get started on (though there are paid options with WordPress).

WordPress is a Content Management System (essentially this just means how you publish your blog posts), and it’s got great support, is easy to customize, and easy to navigate. It’s also extremely easy to optimize, which for a busy site (which yours may not be at first, but may become) is extremely important.

tools for bloggers
WordPress has an interface that’s easy to navigate and use.

 

As far as CMS platforms go, WordPress also comes with what seems like an endless number of plugins available to help you achieve your blogging goals. We talk about one a little further down.

3. Pingdom

It’s frustrating to go to a site that always seems to be down, especially when you’re trying to get business taken care of. You don’t want that site to be your site, particularly if you’re trying to run a business from it (or it is your business).

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Pingdom lets you know if your site is down, and for how long. This way you don’t lose customers without even knowing there was a problem. More than that, you’ll be able to see if there is a recurring problem either with your site, or perhaps with the host of your site. No matter where the problem is coming from, Pingdom will help let you know if you have one, before you start losing customers and visitors for good because of it.

Pingdom can detect even relatively minor server flakiness and shakiness, and it’s because of that we recommend it above all the other server monitoring tools.

4. WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

WordPress SEO is an amazing plugin that we’ve been using for months—and a lot of the other big name sites and blogs are using it, too. This plugin breaks down each page individually, letting you know the strong and weak points that contribute or take away from the page’s SEO influence.

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This plugin has helped us a great deal with our SEO practices.

 

SEO is crucial to getting your site ranking on search engines—if you don’t rank, users can’t click because they can’t find you. SEO is crucial to expansion (even if not right away). SEO can also be incredible complicated, and using this plugin will help you to monitor what you’re doing right and wrong. Overtime, this will make a huge difference when it comes to helping you show up in search engines. And we all know that’s a really big deal.

5. MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the most frequently used e-mail applications, and for good reason. Not only is it affordable, it’s easy to alter customizable sign-up sheets and templates, and just as easy to embed them on your websites or Facebook Page.

MailChimp has great features like pre-made and easy-to-customize templates, subscriber profiles, automation, and some great analytics. All of these features are unbelievably useful.

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Having an e-mail subscription sign up is so important to long-term success. It helps you remind users that you’re there. Whether you use this information just to let them know about new posts, or to push them along in the buying cycle, getting their contact information and using it will help expand your blog and your business.

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Added bonus: MailChimp’s low cost and easy-to-use interface, like WordPress, makes it ideal for both beginners and professionals alike.

6. Free Stock Photos

Sites with free stock photos. While many bloggers are able to take their own stunning, beautiful, artful pictures, many—definitely including myself—are not able to do so. For those of us who don’t excel in photography, photo editing, and/or graphic design, we have two choices: we can either have a mediocre-looking blog that screams amateur hour (even if the rest of it is really great) or we can use stock photos.

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The problem with stock photos: they’re often really, really expensive. If you google “free stock photos,” the first ten sites that come up are not actually free. Fortunately, there are great sites out there with beautiful high resolution, high quality stock photos—all for free.

To see more about our recommendations for free stock photos, you can see our entire blog post on the subject here.

 

 

What blogging tools do you use to help your blog find success? Do you use something not on our list? Leave a comment and let us know!

 

To see more about our blog and our content marketing strategy, you can see posts about how we do it here and here.

Jump Start Your Content Marketing Strategy

Getting Started with Content Marketing 

Content marketing is no get rich quick scheme. It takes a lot of consistent work over a very long period of time to see real results. It is because of this that a lot of sites end up giving up—it can take at least a year to see any real headway, sometimes longer to make significant strides. It is, however, very worth it.

To be clear, content marketing does not replace SEO—they go hand in hand together. Each one helps the other succeed more. It does not automatically replace any of your other marketing efforts, like those promoting sales. Content marketing does enhance and multiply the results you’ll get from all these separate campaigns, however, as well as helping you to build your brand, your reputation, and often your client base.

The Idea Behind Content Marketing and Why it Works

For those new to the concept marketing, it’s a pretty straightforward one: by producing content that members of your target audience will want to consume and share, and distributing this content online for free, you will increase traffic to your site, which increases sales.

Content marketing has changed our business, and we’ve seen massive increases. It offers a large number of benefits:

  • Some of the best benefits you’ll receive from successful content marketing:
  • Your Audience (and often client base) increases
  • You can build your brand, and have more control in what it represents
  • You build a reputation as an expert in your field
  • People come to your site every week (or even more frequently, depending on the number of blog posts)
  • This is a marketing platform that is either free, cheap, or relatively inexpensive compared to traditional ad campaigns (even if you hire a writer like myself to do it for you)

Content marketing works because you’re offering something of value for free to an interested audience. Even if it takes time to find the audience and to build their trust in you, it does work.

How to Start Content Marketing 

Blogging is one of the most popular and effective methods of content marketing, and a great way to start. You also have the option to provide recurring content on platforms like YouTube; we use YouTube in conjunction with our blog posts. For this post, we’ll focus on getting started with content marketing through blogging.

When it comes to creating a content marketing strategy, you shouldn’t necessarily just get started blogging right away. There’s some planning you should do to make sure that you do, in fact, have a content marketing strategy and you aren’t just shooting blind.

The reason why is important: without a long term strategy in place, it will be hard to keep up and expand on your content marketing—a lack of focus can be dangerous, and it’s too easy to be discouraged or distracted. Content marketing is a long-term, long-commitment form of marketing. It’s almost always worth it, but you need a strategy to get there.

When you’re planning out your content marketing strategy, there are a few steps you want to take and things to consider:

  • Check out the competition. The first thing you need to do when you’re planning your content marketing strategy is to look at your competition. You need to see what they’re doing and what’s working for them.
    You can also learn two important things from this: what questions your target audience is asking them in comments, and what you can offer that is different. Different will get you those followers.
  • Choose a Niche. This is particularly true when you first get started. Within every industry, there are niches and sub-niches. Finding and truly understanding yours will give you a solid start. You’ll be able to focus in on that audience.. Once successful you can expand later, but always starting focused is a good rule of thumb to follow.
    For example, our blog covers everything having to do with online and social media marketing, but our main niche focus has been for Facebook Ads. This has helped us gain traffic and footing, and now we are able to expand more into other areas of online marketing while still focusing on Facebook Ads
  • Plan out a List of Topics. There’s nothing like getting stuck with writer’s blog two weeks into having a new blog going, and realizing that your niche or your blog might not have started in the right direction. This can cause a delay or a complete halt in the posts, and before you know it, your content marketing efforts have already died.
    Before you ever get started, come up with a list of posts in the niche. Make sure you have enough to write about and say for longer than the forseeable future. If not, it may be time to reconsider the topics and niche you were thinking about focusing on.
    It can be incredible difficult to come up with topics—especially so frequently—when you first get started. The best thing to do is to think about what questions people ask—the things you now take for granted, even, but didn’t know when you first got into the industry. A grocer could write a series of posts on how to find ripe fruit; a jeweler could write about how to identify repairs; a boutique could write about maintenance of different fabrics. There are always topics for each field—you just have to get used to finding them.
  • Know Your Tools. This is one of the most important things you can do for your content marketing long term—knowing and using the right tools. Having plug-ins to help boost SEO, programs to protect against spam, free stock photos to make things beautiful, and—of course—Google Analytics to track traffic (including where it’s coming from, how often, and how long it stays) will all help you with your content marketing strategy.
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    Google Analytics (which we talk about using with Facebook Ads here) is probably the most important tool I use—I see where traffic is coming from, which posts do best, which have higher bounce rates, which get more visits. Having this kind of information helps me learn more about my target audience and better plan future posts that will be most relevant to them. It keeps me going on the right track.I also highly recommend using Rignite, a social media collaboration software. We use it to schedule all blog posts to be re-posted to Facebook twice a week for six months after they’re written (so long as they’re still relevant). It has made my job so much easier.

How Content Marketing Works With SEO

I’ve seen new marketers ask the question “which is better, SEO or content marketing?” The answer to that is you can’t much success with content marketing without SEO, and your SEO will certainly be better due to your content marketing efforts.

Overtime, the better your blog gets, the more visits your site overall gets, and the higher web authority ranking it’s given. This means it starts popping up first in the search engines—this is good because it means there’s more eyes on your blog (starting a great upwards cycle) as well as more eyes on your site, potentially leading casual users to become clients.

tools for content marketing

The two work hand in hand together—they work best together, and choosing one or the other isn’t the productive way to go about things.

Why You Need Social Media

It’s hard enough to get started on social media; the same is true for getting people to your blog. We’ve used a combination of e-mail marketing and a heavy dose of social media promotions to advertise every blog post we’ve published, and this has helped get a lot of eyes on our site while our SEO ranking was crawling up inch by inch.

getting started with content marketing
We run multiple Facebook posts a day advertising both new and old blog posts, and each one gets clicks. These clicks add up.

SEO won’t be enough when you get started—you’re not even a blip on Google’s radar yet (even though you technically are). Getting ranked on highly on a search engine takes a significant amount of time and hard work—your blog won’t likely won’t hit it even within the first few months. It took us about a year to start ranking, and we’re hoping to see this continue to increase.

Social media is also so important to content marketing because it increases shares and engagement. Both of these are so, so important.

getting started with content marketing; get started content marketing
Every share is a whole new audience that is seeing that post. Even one share can do a world of good.

 

Now, even though organic search traffic has surpassed all other traffic to our site (which is the goal), our social media campaigns still send a large number of users to our site. You can read more about this in our post here.

When to Start Guest Blogging

Guest blogging, as many of you likely know, is a great way to boost your content marketing and SEO efforts. You get to continue to establish yourself as an expert, you build rapport with your peers and their already-established audiences, you build valuable links back to your site, and you get some of that traffic to hopefully come take a look at your site, too.

While some marketers with blogs start trying to guest post right away, and I do see the benefit of jumping at every opportunity, I personally prefer to wait to start guest blogging for at least a few months. There’s a few reasons for this.

The first is that one of the biggest benefits of guest blogging is that it sends users to your own blog and website. Whether this is done through links in the guest blog post that send them there or by a link in your bio following the post, the whole point is that it gets users to your site while building your reputation.

If you send users back to your blog too soon and you only have a few ok posts, they might not be back. If you wait a few months until you’ve gained some momentum and have a few pages of high quality posts, new visitors will be much more inclined to come back for more.

 

content marketing; guest blogging
Only after writing for Ryan and several other blogs for almost two years was I accepted to write guest posts for Social Media Examiner. It was worth the wait: one post from their site sent a ton of traffic to ours (the twitter shares alone hit almost 3,000).

Waiting to guest blog until you’ve got your own site (and reputation) established gives you one more distinct benefit: there’s a good chance this will help you be able to write guest posts for higher quality blogs than you would have before. This was certainly the case for me.

This is important because while almost all links are good, you want to make sure your name is associated with other high quality, credible, expert sites. While everyone needs to start somewhere, you want to make sure your business is posting on those high quality sites so that it represents your brand in the way that you want.

 

 

Content marketing can take a lot longer than running some ad campaigns (as if that was ever really easy), but the overall pay off can bring in large numbers of clients and sales. It can build a loyal following, and help establish you and your business as an authority in your industry.

No matter what, it’s important to remember that consistency in quality and frequency are the most important factors in content marketing: without this, you’ll lose readers faster than you can blink.

What questions do you have regarding content marketing? What strategies do you implement now? How has it affected your business?

To see more about our current content marketing strategy, click here.

6 Sites With Gorgeous, Truly Free Stock Photos

I know some bloggers out there are naturally (or are trained to be) phenomenal photographers, fantastic photo editors, or experts in graphic design. I am not one of those bloggers. Not even a little bit. My sister was granted that gift, not me. I’m actually famous in my family for always accidentally cutting off the top part of my dad’s head in all the family pictures I took.

I excel at the written word, not so much in creation of stunning images.

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Image courtesy of Unsplash.com.

So, for those of us like myself who lack some creativity and skill in this area, there’s the struggle of finding really spectacular images to use in our blog. After all, images are good for SEO and are important to getting users to click on the blog post, and to keep reading it. The solution for us non-photographer bloggers? Stock photos.

But those suckers can get expensive, fast. You start paying chunks of money to different sites to get images that sometimes the client will reject and that you don’t get paid for. That one’s always particularly fun. While a few dollars per image isn’t much (and sometimes it can be factored into the cost you charge), it adds up very quickly, especially when you’re putting out multiple posts in a week.

The solution to this problem: free stock photos. When I first started blogging, I searched high and low for free stock photos, and couldn’t find any. Even the sites that popped up on Google as “free stock photos” were never free and were a few dollars a pop.

Finally, I found these amazing sites that offer truly free stock photos that you don’t have to pay a cent for. Some sites will require you give credit on the image when you post it, but some don’t even ask that. I’ve used each of these sites multiple times (a lot of them on other blogs covering everything from wedding cakes to fishing techniques), and I’ve always had great results.

These images go beyond the use of bloggers, too; they can be used by web designers, for professional projects, printed works (in most cases), and (again, in most cases) ads like Facebook Ads online.


Unsplash

I think the last four blog posts I’ve posted on this site have featured images that came from Unsplash. Their high resolution pictures are all stunning and easily beat out a large number of stock photos that you actually pay for on other sites. They look professional, and their free. They just ask you subscribe so they can send you images to your inbox once a week, and they add ten gorgeous new pictures every ten days.

free stock photos; unsplash
Image provided by Unsplash.com

 

You are free to “do whatever you want” with these images—no credit or links back need to be given. They are 100% free to use however you wish, and they are at the very top of my list.

PicJumbo

PicJumbo is another great site, and easily ranking in as my second most frequently used site, right behind Unsplash. It was created by a web designer who understands the industry’s need for high quality images in full resolution and offered up his own images for free to use how you see it (except reselling them, of course).

free stock photos; picjumbo
Image courtesy of PicJumbo.com

 

Attribution and credit is not required, though it is appreciated. As he says, anytime these sites are getting more traffic and downloads, it means that they keep providing more content to their growing audience. Win-win for everybody.

While Picjumbo has a ton of great images for free, you do have the option of purchasing a premium package for only $6 a month (and all the bloggers out there know that this is nothing—some sites want that just for a single image) for extra hi-res images, some of them unpublished, sent right into your inbox.

Pixabay

Pixabay features those really awesome images, some of which are stunning photographs and some graphics that are created by some seriously skilled graphic designers. They do feature a few images under each category that you have to pay for from another site, but don’t be fooled—everything else is free.

high quality free stock photos
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

You can use these images without any kind of credit or attribution, so again, these images are completely free for you to use however you see fit.

StockSnap.io

Another site with page after page after page of beautiful images that are all completely free is StockSnap.io. They are constantly adding tons of new pictures to the site daily, increasing their variety and making sure that every time you come back to the site, there will be new images you can use.

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Image courtesy of StockSnap.io. Tell me that doesn’t make you hungry, I dare you.

 

StockSnap doesn’t require any credit or attribution when you use their images.

Gratisography

Gratisography offers even more breathtaking, “use as you please” high resolution pictures for free, though there is a place to contribute to the site’s “coffee fund,” which is one of the most awesome ways to ask for donations I’ve ever seen.

free stock photos
Image courtesy of Gratisography.com. This image is just begging to have a short story be written about it…

 

All images on the site are 100% free from copyright restrictions. Post away on commercial projects!

SuperFamous

Dutch interaction designer Folkert Gorter created SuperFamous—a Los Angeles based studio—and the site that shares its incredible work. This is another great site with page after page of stunning pictures (I know, I’ve said that about all these sites, but it’s true).

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Unlike almost all the other sites on this list, SuperFamous still offers their images for free but does require credit and attribution for them when you post them. If you’re curious about the legality of all this, check out the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license for more info.

Conclusion

You now have a ridiculously large number of gorgeous photographs and graphics all at the click of your mouse—for free! These sites make it easier to do my job, and to do my job well. Hopefully it can help you do the same!

Even when the sites don’t require it or ask for it, giving attribution and credit wherever possible is always good. It’s an act of goodwill and saying thank you; it sends them more traffic, which in turn allows them to create more images.

 

Where do you get your favorite stock photos from? What do you use them for? Leave us a comment and let us know!

5 Foolproof Methods to Promote Your Facebook Page

Reliable On- and Off-Site Methods to Get More Likes on Facebook

So you’ve created a great Facebook Page. You’ve filled out all the information, uploaded great images to draw attention, and flooded your Page with interesting, original content and posts. You’ve even got a few likes.

But then there’s the dreaded stagnant feeling. You’re stuck, and you can’t seem to connect with new users.

So how do you promote your Facebook Page?

There’s a variety of methods you can actually use to promote your Facebook Page that are all Facebook-approved and won’t result in getting your Page shut down. Some you do have to pay money for, but most of them cost absolutely nothing except a bit of time.

To help you get more likes on your Facebook Page, we decided to share our 5 easy, reliable, foolproof methods to promote your Page on Facebook.

1. Promote It Everywhere

Your Twitter, your Instagram, your website, your own profile page. Post the link to your Facebook everywhere. The more places it’s listed, the more people who see it, and the more who will click.

Got business cards? Put the address to your Facebook fan page there, too.

Do you have an e-mail list? Send out an e-mail announcing your Facebook Page and inviting them to share it. These are users already interested in you, who have a rapport with you. Make it easy by putting a link for them to click, and watch your likes go up.

Anywhere you have a presence and would advertise your business, advertise your Facebook Page.

2. Make It Easy to Access and Share To and From

Don’t just share a link to your Facebook on your site; make it a prominent part of what users see. This can boost engagement in addition to likes.

On your site, if applicable, install a Facebook widget that allows a glimpse of your Newsfeed to show up on your main site.

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We feature a small snipped of our Newsfeed– and prompt you to like our Page– next to all blog posts.

 

 

Also make sure—again, if applicable—that you have those handy Facebook buttons at the top of your Page or in a prominent place that say “like or share on Facebook.” While this will likely send traffic to your site, your name is still getting exposure, and that can help promote your Page, too.

get more likes on Facebook
We have “share” and “like” buttons at the top and bottom of every blog post for easy access.

 

3. Facebook Ads

It’s not free, and it’s really not cheap, but it’s one of the most effective ways to guarantee that your Page is going to have a lot of eyes on it.

You can choose to run campaigns on Facebook Ads just for the sole purpose of getting likes on your Page, though I personally prefer to advertise Pages by using the promoted posts objective under Facebook Ads. Pick some of your strongest content and see how well it does through Facebook Ads.

Yes, we’re all tired of hearing it, but organic reach is declining. It can be harder to reach even the users you’re already connected with.

If you’re new to Facebook Ads, make sure you take a look at our Beginner’s Guide to see how best to promote your post, and don’t forget to sign up for a trial of our FB Ads Formula.

4. Share Content from Well-Known Pages… and Tag Them

This is content sharing that is mutually beneficial, in addition to—ok yes— maybe having an agenda.

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s pretty much guaranteed that there are a couple big Pages in it that have huge, well-established audiences.

get more likes on Facebook; promote your Facebook page

If you share their content, this gives you a reason to tag them in your posts, and while there’s no guarantee, there may be some fans (who you already know are interested in your field) who see your post and click, bringing them right to your Page.

5. Get Your Fans to Promote It For You

This can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal when you’re trying to promote your Facebook Page.

When I was buying my new car last year, every single car salesmen I talked to promised that they alone could get me the car of my dreams for the best price out there, even though only one of them actually worked to get me just that (for all of you around Orlando, Fernanda at AutoNation was incredible). I didn’t believe any of them; after all, are you going to believe the person who just wants to sell you something?

A few months later, one of my coworkers was buying a new car, and she wanted a Honda like I’d bought. I referred her to Fernanda, and she went right there and bought a car from her without question. You know why? Because I wasn’t trying to sell her something, and she knew me, and she trusted me. I had nothing to gain from helping her.

It’s the same idea (at slightly lower stakes than a $20,000 car purchase, admittedly) when you get your fans to promote your Page for you. Of course you’re going to say how awesome and incredible it is; it goes a lot further when a user says the same to their friends.

get more likes on Facebook
I shared one of our posts on my own Timeline and it got a ton of clicks and some new likes for our Page.

 

The best part is that they don’t necessarily have to go out of their way to promote your Page. They can do that just by interacting on your page by leaving a comment on a post, because it will show up in their friends’ Newsfeeds. You get a comment, and you have a vote of approval.

One of the best ways to get fans to promote your Page is if you give them content worth sharing. If you post images, content, or links that are interesting, informative, controversial, funny, or newsworthy enough, they’re likely to get a lot of engagement—most importantly, shares. And sometimes those shares on a link will get more clicks and engagement that your original post, exposing you to even more new users.

You can also host a Facebook contest to promote sharing. One of my favorite restaurants, Hawker’s Asian Street Fare in Orlando recently did this; if you shared their video of a new menu item, you could win one for you and a friend. They had hundreds of shares every day, and a ton of new likes on their Page as a result.

get more likes on Facebook; Facebook contests

No matter what you choose, just remember that Facebook is punishing like-gating, so motivating users towards likes on your Page without asking for them explicitly is the way to go.

 

 

How do you promote your Facebook Page? What’s worked for you? Share your strategies and success stories in the comments below!

Put Social Media Content on Auto Pilot: Rignite Review

New Update : Now after using Rignite since summer of 2014, we can share real results showing some nice growth in social media traffic in part by using this tool.

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You can clearly see some nice gains in part from Rignite automatically sending out social media updates to our fans & followers.

I’m big on automation and growth and I’m sure you are too.

Online, content, and social media marketing, as we all know, has a lot more to it than just running a basic ad and immediately seeing results. It’s a big task, one big enough that companies have started hiring staff members (sometimes multiple staff members) to be responsible for different aspects of managing campaigns.

What Is Rignite?

Rignite is a program offering cross-platform integration and evaluation. It is a subscription-based service  that allows you to manage and monitor social media marketing campaigns and activity across your social media sites in one place. They have a two ready-made plans, but can create a custom package to fit your needs.

What Rignite does:

  • Walks you through the steps of creating campaigns that can be run on Facebook and Twitter simultaneously.
  • Lets you automatically or manually schedule your posts, either individually or as a series.
  • Uploads your pre-set posts automatically to your separate social media sites.
  • Provides highly detailed analysis of your campaigns so you can monitor your success and results.
  • Lets you establish goals for campaigns (such as gaining 100 likes on a post) and informs you when you’ve reached them.
  • Makes your Facebook and Twitter contests utilizing engagement easier than ever to create and manage. Really. It’s incredible.
  • Monitor activity and engagement on your posts.
  • Work as a team more effortlessly. You can distribute individual cases for your team to manage, assigning different team members to respond to particular users on your social media sites.

Create and Schedule Campaigns

This is easily our most used feature on Rignite as of yet.

The site makes it easy to create campaigns, including time frames, scheduled posts, and alternative posts to be included in it.

In order to create a campaign, click on the plus sign next to the “My Campaigns” heading.

Rignite Review of Campaigns
You can find all your current campaigns (and their analysis) under the Campaigns tab. You can create a new one by clicking on the +.

After you do so, Rignite will prompt you to choose what type of campaign you want. You can choose between promoting an event, blog, or content; boosting engagement; and growing fans and followers. Each of these categories has a subcategory, as seen below.

What type of campaign will be best for you?
What type of campaign will be best for you?

Our most used choice is to schedule a series of posts in which we promote our individual blog posts.

Once you’ve made your choice, Rignite asks you to choose which networks you want to use for this individual campaign. You can choose to use multiple platforms or just one. Keep in mind that even during one campaign, you will get to make separate posts for each platform.

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In Step 2, you are asked to create a name and description for your campaign, as well as selecting a time frame. As noted in our post explaining our content marketing strategy, we run all of our blog posts twice a week for six months.

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You can then choose to add a link to your campaign; in this case, we provided the link to the blog post. You can also decide whether or not you want to enable Google Analytics URL tracking.

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Step 3 involves creating the actual posts that will be uploaded to Twitter and Facebook. You can create separate messages for Facebook and Twitter, or copy and paste so that they are the same.

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You can also add up to 3 different posts for each platform. We always do at least two. Not only does this keep Twitter from blocking a duplicate post (which it will do if they’re posted back to back), but it gives the same article separate descriptions that might appeal more to different people. Using more headlines gives you a chance to advertise your content in multiple exciting ways. Rignite will automatically rotate your messages when posting, giving you one more thing less to worry about.

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After creating the posts that will appear on your pages, you choose how often you want your post to appear. Again, we run our blog posts twice per week for six months. You choose this for both Facebook and Twitter separately.

When you hit next, Rignite automatically schedules your posts for you.

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If you’re unhappy with their suggested scheduling, you can manually reorder the timing of your posts, with posts appearing on Facebook and Twitter being separate from each other and able to be moved separately.

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After your campaign is scheduled just the way you want, you choose when you want to be notified. I always choose before both the start and end of campaign, but for some campaigns (like when we run a contest) I’ll choose to have a notification sent before each post to make sure it’s still relevant.

The notifications come to your e-mail, so if you ever forget to check in at Rignite, they won’t let you forget anything important no matter how hard you try.

Step 7 prompts you to review your campaign before you start it. It is easier to make overall changes at this stage, so review all the information and make sure everything is correct. Rignite reviews are concise and detailed, leaving no stone unturned.

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Rignite reviews your campaigns with you before they begin.

After you’re happy with how everything looks, press the green Kickoff button at the bottom.

Congratulations! That’s how easy it is to set up and schedule a six month, individual content marketing series of posts for your campaign. There’s no having to remind yourself to repost your content and keeping track of what gets posted where and when. You don’t have to think twice except to monitor its results.

Host a Contest

One option provided when you first start to create a campaign is to boost engagement. Under that category you’ve got fans engaging on social media to win a prize and fans entering a contest to win a prize.

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In another post we discussed how to successfully host a contest on Facebook. Rignite makes it easier than ever to set up a contest and to monitor it along the way.

In Step 1 of this type of campaign, you are asked to choose what platform the contest will actually be on. You must choose either Facebook or Twitter to host the contest on, though you can promote it cross-platform. We chose Facebook.

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Step two, as with the above campaign, asks you give a title, description, and timeline for this campaign. For this contest, we’re giving a span of two weeks—long enough to allow people to see it, but short enough that it stays in everyone’s mind and encourages people to post immediately.

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Step 3 asks you to select a prize, as well as to choose whether you want people to like your post or comment on it. You are required to choose how many people can win the prize, and your desired number of entries.

Rignite automatically creates a message that can be posted to advertise your contest, which you can edit to your heart’s desire. Having a preset template, whether you edit it or not, definitely keeps you from forgetting to add something important (like the date the contest ends).

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The next few steps takes you through setting a schedule, how many times you want your post to appear, notification options, and review before kickoff.

Once your contest is up and running, Rignite will notify you once your goal has been met. Once your contest is up, it will also show you the list of possible winners, allowing you to manually choose or randomly select a winner. See? I told you it was easier than ever.

While your contest is running, you can use cross-platform promotion (aided by Rignite) and promoted posts on Facebook to maximize visibility and increase user engagement.

Monitor Activity

After you’ve set up your campaigns, you can check detailed analysis on each individual campaign separately day after day.

You get to evaluate your campaign reach in a graph that shows you Twitter reach and Facebook impressions. This shows you how many people have actually seen the content Rignite has posted for you.

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You see engagement by day, including retweets, replies, comments, and shares.

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You can see my personal favorite, shortlink clicks by network. As a content writer, this really let’s me know which of my posts (and how I describe them) is most appealing to our followers and what they’d like to see more of. This kind of feedback is incredible and has already helped me focus in on what content our users want. Especially since we’re working hard on our content marketing strategy, I cannot overstate how helpful this has been.

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Finally, you can see engagement by post. This, again, can help you hone in on what content (and perhaps even what times or days) are most effective with helping you connect to your audience. Rignite reviews how much engagement comes with each post so you can see trends over time.

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If you set up more than one campaign at a time, you can see which are more successful. We’ve gotten an insight into what type of blog posts our followers are most interested in reading by evaluating engagement and clicks.

This is a great chance to evaluate how your target audience responds to different styles of messages as well. If you create different posts for the same campaign and one has vastly better results, you can evaluate why one individual post worked and the other didn’t when, at the end of the day, the link behind it was still the same.

You can see this clearly in the last graph above. As I only used two messages in that particular campaign, I can see that one message was more successful in getting likes compared to the other. This information makes our future campaigns much stronger.

This offers massive growth and learning opportunities that aren’t always as readily available with even the incredible data Facebook provides.

Assign Cases

This is a feature that makes working with a multi-person (and in a multi-location) team much easier. I am two time zones away from my closest team member and Rignite’s social collaboration software has made it much easier for our team to work on single campaigns together.

You can assign your staff members individual cases of specific interactions that happen on your social media sites. You can ask that one member follow up with someone who retweeted an article or shared it on Facebook, and they can respond under the name of your page.

You can assign cases as open cases, waiting for reply, or closed cases. As multiple members of your team are interacting with your fans and followers, you can see who’s responding to what and how, as well as making sure all your bases are covered.

Everything is all in one place, organized in a way that you can see what still needs to be done—and so can your team.

See Your Schedule

This a simple, self explanatory feature, but it’s a really nice one.

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We’re currently running several campaigns at once with that number currently going up. Having a ready made schedule makes it even easier to keep track of our campaigns, not just individually, but as a whole. We can view the overall scope of our entire campaign, seeing pieces as they fit into the puzzle.

Rignite Review Conclusion

In our last post, we discussed our content marketing strategy and we mentioned Rignite. Sharing our blog posts and videos across all platforms is an essential part of that strategy, and Rignite has helped us get the results we want. Since they offer a 14 day free trial, I would strongly advise everyone working with marketing on social media or content marketing in any way to see if you think it will be a tool that can help your business. It has definitely helped ours.

When we signed up, a member of Rignite’s team took us through each aspect of what the site can do, making sure we didn’t have any questions. They helped us make sure that Rignite was the right choice for us, and have continued to stay in contact with us and make sure our campaigns are going just the way we want.

And they are. Between Rignite’s great tools and their analysis, we’ve been able to improve our content going out to better fit our fans’ needs as well as making sure it’s getting seen by—and engaged with— as many of our fans as possible. That is, after all, the goal with both social media marketing and content marketing.

Rignite has made a monumental difference in our campaign. We’re getting more clicks on our links, and our engagement on our posts is increasing. It is the tool we needed to take our content marketing strategy to the next level, and it has already started to do so. Check it out for yourself today.

9 Ways Your Facebook Landing Page Gets Your Ad Rejected

How To Make Sure Your Landing Page Complies with Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are getting rejected, and ad accounts are actually getting hit with suspensions and shut downs because users keep submitting them, unsure of how to fix them so that they comply with Facebook’s guidelines and failing to do so.

Landing pages are the biggest reason Facebook Ads get rejected, even though some users aren’t aware that their landing pages must also follow the same rules as their actual ad on Facebook. Landing pages are reviewed just as stringently as the ads themselves, so trying to sneak something past Facebook by sticking it on your landing page instead of the ad just won’t work.

Here’s the list of broken rules that will result in your landing page getting your Facebook ad rejected.

1. Prevents Click-Aways

Have you seen the landing pages—or regular web pages—that try to stop you from leaving? When you click that x in the top corner of the screen, a small pop up appears saying something like “Are you sure you want to leave?”

facebook landing pages
Yes,, I’m sure. That something special just might be a virus.

 

These are prohibited to have on your landing page, and will result in them getting shut down. Aside from the fact that they’re against Facebook’s guidelines, they tend to look spammy and annoy users. If they’re clicking away, after all, I’m fairly certain they want to leave. Personally, I’m always mildly afraid my computer will get a virus every time I see one.

2. Has Content Banned by Facebook

You know all those restrictions Facebook has for its ads for certain industries? Like how the medical industry can’t promote prescription pharmaceuticals? That goes for your landing page, too. Nothing on your landing page can break those same restrictions of content banned by Facebook.

A lot of times marketers will try to get past Facebook by having the banned content on their landing page, one step away from their Ad, and don’t realize that Facebook thoroughly checks and evaluates landing pages, too. For obvious reasons, this doesn’t work, and has resulted in some accounts getting shut down.

3. Doesn’t Stay Consistent With Your Ad

We’ve all clicked on a link on an ad (not necessarily one on Facebook) that takes us to something completely unrelated, even if it’s just showing us one product and taking us to a different one.

facebook landing pages
This ad…

 

facebook landing pages
Matches this landing page.

 

If your landing page doesn’t match what your ad says or offers, your ad is getting shut down without a question; there’s no sneaking that one past Facebook’s team. Your landing page must accurate reflect was advertised on your ad.

4. No Identity and Contact Information Visible

Users should know who they’re doing business with, even if it’s just getting a free download or signing up for a newsletter, and they should be able to get more information about you if they need it. This can be a link to your main website, your Facebook page, a phone number, or other contact information.

facebook landing pages rejected
This landing page features detailed contact information.

 

5. Is Under Construction Or Results in Error Pages

I’m not entirely sure why you would spend money on ad campaigns and then send users who click to a site under construction, but there it is. Apparently some people do. Make sure your site is up and running—this means checking your landing page frequently for glitches that result in error pages, too—and you should be good to go.

6. Has Malware, Spyware, or Any Kind of Automatic Download

Malware, spyware, and automatic downloads all go on the users’ computer and software without their consent and often without their knowledge. Even if you have a download that is innocent and that the user actually clicked on the ad to get, it can’t be downloaded automatically. No software, programs, files, or tracking devices can be placed on a user’s software without their approval. And let’s be real here—who exactly would approve malware or spyware without being misled or lied to?

Which brings us to our next broken rule that hits a lot of people…

7. Is Misleading

You can’t mislead your users on either your ad or your landing page. Of course there will be marketers who try, but you shouldn’t do it. You can’t lie to users about what your product or offer is, what it does, or what they—or you—gain from it.

This includes spelling out the fine print. If there are any extra rules, restrictions, or requirements that come with what you’re advertising, the user needs to be made aware of it. If, for example, a free trial automatically renews for a paid subscription, or a purchase is necessary to redeem an offer, users need to know. Any ulterior motive, side effect, or part of your ad and offer need to be clearly explained to your users and need to be in a place easily visible.

Facebook landing pages rejected
There is a clear link that is visible that outlines terms of service

 

8. Leads To An Abusive Page

It’s not just your landing page that Facebook Ad’s team checks; if you directly refer users to another site, Facebook is going to take a look at that site, too. While the restrictions aren’t placed on this third site, it cannot be a site that has been labeled as abusive by the Web of Trust. If it is, your landing page is denied, and so is your ad.

9. Doesn’t Function in All Browsers

This is a rule that often gets broken unintentionally, and doesn’t happen as often as some of the others. You may have the most beautiful, masterful landing page in the world on Google Chrome, but it doesn’t amount to much if it doesn’t work on Safari or Firefox. There’s a long list of browsers out there, so test them all and make sure that they work. In some cases you may want to test them on different devices, too; some websites don’t work for apple products at all.

If you want to make the most out of your ads campaigns and landing pages, you should make sure that your landing page is optimized for mobile devices as well. More users are utilizing Facebook on mobile than desktops, so not having a landing page that works on mobile devices can isolate and exclude a lot of potential customers.

Conclusion

When building your landing page, keep these rules in mind.

Following these guidelines (even though there’s a lot of them) isn’t as bad as it sounds, and it will help keep your ad from getting rejected and getting your ads account shut down. Again, landing pages are the biggest reason ads get rejected, so making sure yours follows the rules to a tee will help your ad come back approved.

 

Have you struggled with landing pages on Facebook Ads? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads: Why You Need Them Both

A few months ago, we broke down all the numbers and took a close look at which was better, Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads. Facebook won that battle without question. With our recent addition of blog posts, resources, and e-courses focusing on Google Adwords, it makes sense that a lot of users have started asking us if we had to pick, which would we choose between Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads.

The answer to this question does not really have a winner, like Facebook and Twitter, which operated off a similar concept and had the same marketing goals. Facebook Ads and Google Adwords are two different systems that go about a similar goal (exposure for a site) in different ways.

Yes, there are similarities (both deal with bidding systems that are affected by competition, for example), but the systems are so different that using both can benefit your overall marketing campaign and increase both sales and exposure.

Here’s why…

Google Adwords: Strengths and Weaknesses

How Google Adwords Works

For those unfamiliar with Google Adwords, the driving force behind it is keywords. Where Facebook relies most heavily on targeting when determining who sees your ad, which can include things like interests, Adwords is all about the keywords.

When someone uses Google (the most popular search engine by far) to search for something, Google almost always will offer up the first several suggestions from their paid ads. These are marked with small yellow “Ad” boxes, but that doesn’t matter—your site will be among the very first that the user sees and likely clicks on.

Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads
When Googling “oil change service,” Google automatically showed me ads for companies near by me that offered this service. The ads are marked with yellow “Ad” boxes.

In addition to having your site show up on the first page of Google results, Google determines whose ad gets shown the most (and the highest) by a combination of factors, including bidding price (how much you’re willing to spend), the quality of your ad and your website, and what they expend the extended impact from ad extensions will be.

Adwords operates off of bidding, just as Facebook does. The more you’re willing to pay for those keywords (some of which you’ll have high competition for, just like certain audiences in Facebook), the more likely your ad will show up.

Strengths: When you’re using Google Adwords, you’ve got a good chance of capturing users that could be further along in the buying cycle. Someone who searches “oil changes” isn’t a random person who may not be interested in actually getting an oil change. They are actively seeking out businesses that provide that service. Grabbing users at that point of the buying cycle—users who are ready to purchase—can boost sales. You’ll rarely get a more relevant audience when they’re searching for exactly what you’re selling, looking to buy (even if they’re only considering it).

In addition to this big advantage Google Adwords offers, you also get the benefit that Google will place your ads on other sites, too. These ads can appear on Google owned sites like YouTube, or on Google’s partner sites, like NYTimes.com. You’re expanding your reach off the platform of just the search engine.

Google Adwords, when done right, is also relatively cost efficient as Google only charges per click to the website. Since Adwords isn’t necessarily about brand exposure as it is that click, that’s beneficial for this platform.

Weaknesses: Google Adwords relies purely on keywords as a targeting method when deciding who to show your ad to. Keywords can be a tricky business, especially if you’re new to the concept.

With Adwords, this disadvantage of being dictated by keywords (a double edged sword, as the keywords are both a strength and a weakness) means that if users aren’t searching for your product, they’re unlikely to see it. While this isn’t bad if they know what they’re looking for, certain products just don’t get researched before purchasing.

Razors or shaving cream, for example. Except for expensive shaving kits, most users don’t think to search for razors online to research or make online purchases for the company directly; they swing by and grab one from a supermarket or a drug store. If you’re looking to get your brand exposure and to show an audience a product that they don’t know they want or need, Adwords may not be the best approach for you.

Facebook Ads: Strengths and Weaknesses

How Facebook Ads Works

For those unfamiliar with how Facebook Ads works, you can view our extremely thorough Beginner’s Guide. For a basic run down, Facebook uses a competitive bidding system where your ad is shown to users (paid for either by clicks or per 1,000 views), and is driven largely by audience targeting.

You can target users based off demographics, behaviors, and interests, among other criteria, and targeting is the big focus here on who sees your ad instead of keywords. Your ads will appear either in the users’ Newsfeed, smack dab in the middle of the action, or in the right side column. Both placements have their benefits, which you can see here.

Strengths: Remember those certain products and services that people don’t realize they need or want to try, like the razors or shaving cream? Facebook Ads is a great way to showcase your product to a relevant audience, even if they didn’t know they wanted or needed it. Dollar Shave had great success with their Facebook Ads campaigns.

google ads vs facebook ads
This is a great example of a perfect campaign for Facebook Ads. A lot of people may not search for “free genetic testing” or know even about genetic testing. This ad targeted users in my local area (likely those around my age, the child-bearing age) who might be interested.

Perfect for discovery of items that people don’t search for. Facebook is fantastic for exposure for your brand and product. Online companies like AdoreMe, Modcloth, and DollarShave have done remarkably well, largely thanks to their Facebook Advertising, which gave them repeated exposure.

Facebook Ads are also often slightly more eye-catching, with large pictures that can catch a user’s interest and attention. While some Google ads have an image, largely off-site ads, Facebook ads has the advantage of reliable imagery to help attract a user.

google adwords vs facebook ads
I know, here I go again with the food. But the image makes the difference here between whether I’d click or not.

Facebook also offers the benefit of user engagement. Users may flock to a Facebook Page as well as potentially buying or signing up for an opt-in list, giving a business free marketing opportunities to those users via their Page and posts in the future. You can get user engagement, build up excitement, and build a rapport with followers as the ad happens on a social media platform.

Weaknesses: Targeting, like keyword research, can be difficult. It can also be imprecise, especially if you’re new to the system. It can be hard to find the balance of getting your audience narrow enough to find your niche, and broad enough that you don’t exclude too many users.

google ads vs facebook ads
Facebook Ad’s targeting decided to show me a McDonalds ad. Sadly for them, I hate McDonalds and get sick every time I eat it. This can show how imprecise targeting can be.

Because you’re not going off of actual searches happening at that moment, you may miss people at the right stage of the buying cycle. Sure, you can use special targeting to show your ad to someone who’s researching buying a car, but maybe they’re already done researching by the time your ad pops up on Facebook.

Facebook Ads can also easily become expensive, like all paid ad platforms. A lot of inexperienced marketers have lost a pretty penny, but to be fair, that can be said about Adwords, too. While Facebook Ads is now relatively affordable, with organic reach declining, we’ll have to see how that affects overall bidding prices and general affordability.

Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads: You Should Use Both

Facebook Ads and Google Adwords have different focuses, even though the end goal of giving your business exposure and increasing sales is the same.

Dollar Shave is a great example of a business whose campaign thrived on Facebook Ads but may not have done quite as well on Google Adwords. On the other side of this issue, catching users far along in the buying cycle tends to happen best—in the majority of cases— with Adwords.

For this reason, the strengths and weaknesses of each ad platform make it less of an argument of Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads and more of a “why you should use both” kind of argument. You can utilize Facebook Ads to gain exposure to new clients and capture some sales, but you can use Adwords to capture an audience searching for products like yours, an audience often fairly far along in the buying cycle. Facebook Ads gives you exposure; Google Adwords helps you connect with users looking for what you’re selling.

Both systems, regardless of their respective strengths and weaknesses, are complex and take some time to learn and be successful with. To make this process easier and help you run successful, profitable campaigns every time, we’ve got our FB Ads Formula and our Google Adwords Formula. Make sure you take a look at both and learn both systems. After all, even if you favor one or the other, there may be a time when both systems are best used at once for the maximum amount of ROI off a campaign.

What do you think? Have you used Google Adwords and Facebook Ads? Which has worked best for you?
Leave us a comment and let us know!